Tommy Vargas is the Director of Factory Entertainment, known to fans as one of the top distributors of some of the most popular licensed toys and collectibles. Factory carries an impressive range of memorabilia representing different franchises, the newest addition being the Ultraman line. We spoke with Mr. Vargas regarding the details of the drop and exclusively revealed plans for future expansion.
Can you catch us up on some of the stuff Factory Entertainment has been working on?
For now, there are four products on the site. We just announced the Ultraman plush with light up eyes and a plush Gamora as well. Here [at Factory Entertainment] we also have a pretty nice line of tin totes ranging across multiple different franchises, the most recent release being the new Anime ULTRAMAN tin tote. The box measures 8.5” x 6.5” x 4” and features the version of the character from the Netflix animated series.
In the original Ultraman series, Shin Hayata uses a device called the Beta Capsule to turn into Ultraman. It’s one of the first transformation gadgets in all of tokusatsu. Tell us a little about the Beta Capsule replica, which is one of the most anticipated of all of the franchise’s licensed products. That thing is literally heavy with power!
Well, like our site says, details on the original prop, created in 1966, are sadly lost to time. So, to create this replica, our development team spent many hours carefully studying and examining images and footage of the prop to ensure the highest levels of accuracy.
The main body is crafted from aluminum, accented with metal and plastic fittings. There’s a nice display stand, designed to suggest the Science Patrol logo and laser-cut from jet black acrylic. Each features the edition number of each replica on the underside.
The replica features a sound and light feature, which emulates Shin Hayata’s transformation sequence, featuring the ‘Beta Spark’ sound-effect specially remastered by Tsuburaya Productions.
There are quite a few preorders for the Beta Capsule. There has been a lot of support from fans and customers. Anything that lights up and makes great sounds is bound to get a great reaction!
What went into the decision-making process of the products in this line? The Ultraman plush is obvious, and Gomora is a huge fan favorite of course, but how could Factory Entertainment decide between all of the awesome characters?
We took a look at everything that was on the table and the sales director here, Jim Wampler, is arguably the biggest Ultraman fan in the office and he was absolutely adamant about Gomora being the first plush item that we produced, simply because of his specific preference.
Gomora is 11 inches tall, and his eyes light up. Ultraman is 10 inches tall, and his eyes light up as well.
Can we expect new plushes coming out any time soon?
Our plan is to see how these two do and decide where we’re gonna go forward from there. Right now, we’re fishing for a reaction. We typically find that plushes are more of a tactile experience, people wanna feel it, see it, and hold it. Once these start to land in peoples’ hands and they can experience it for themselves, I think we’re gonna see a bigger reaction.
Does Factory Entertainment use social media to connect with fans and/or advertise new drops?
The majority of fans have primarily been following the Ultraman drop through our newsletter, but of course those subscribers came from our outreach on platforms like our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. This specific fanbase is very responsive. It’s great.
Are these products available for shipment outside of the US?
Yes, we ship worldwide (other than to Japan and China). In fact, our analytics show Ultraman sales are widely coming from Asia. Ordering directly from our website is probably the best way to place overseas orders.
What can we expect for the future of Factory Entertainment’s Ultraman line?
We’re still in the early stages of trying to figure out what we’d like to do next. We’ve been discussing a replica of the Color Timer as well as some bar ware such as wine stoppers and bottle openers. The reaction to the Beta Capsule has been really great so we’re definitely leaning towards creating some new prop replicas as well.
So, when can we get our hands on these treasures?
The Anime ULTRAMAN tin tote is already in stock, we’re expecting the plush to ship this summer, and the Beta Capsule will be available within the next couple of weeks.
Is this stuff top secret or are we allowed to share it with our readers?
Feel free to talk all about it! The readers’ response will lend a hand in our decision-making process with upcoming products. The fans can help us out a lot.
All of the products mentioned can be found at https://www.factoryent.com/ for direct purchase or preorder. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for new releases coming soon!